Matty Layne Glasgow is the author of the collection, deciduous qween, selected by Richard Blanco as the winner of the Benjamin Saltman Award and forthcoming from Red Hen Press in 2019. He is runner-up for Missouri Review’s 2017 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize and finalist for Nimrod’s 2018 Pablo Neruda Prize. His poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net anthologies and appear in the Missouri Review, Crazyhorse, Collagist, BOAAT, Muzzle, and elsewhere. He lives in Houston, Texas where he teaches with Writers in the Schools and adjuncts his life away.
Photo credit: Iran Garcia
Why is poetry important?
For me, poetry serves as one of the most transcendent ways in which we as humans can connect with one another, with the environments where we seek shelter and breath, with whatever cosmos or magic or spirit helps us find purpose. Our craft combats injustice, processes trauma, unearths hidden truths, celebrates our joy, and communes our grief, our uncertainty. I’m often in awe of how these journeys can occur in just a few lines on a page or through an epic narrative. Regardless of length or style, each poem affords the reader the opportunity to see the world through the poet’s eyes, and that connection is a hopeful one. Most importantly, I believe everyone is deserving and capable of this connection, this hope. I’ve had the privilege of teaching with Writers in the Schools since 2013, and their mission “to engage all children in the joy and power of reading and writing” is one I live by. Everyone—regardless of age, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, or economic resources—has a powerful story to impart, has a way of seeing the world wholly their own. Perhaps they do not long to be professional writers, but their words and their poetry can still build these connections, inspire those around them, and give us all more hope.